graduate programme

 

HISTORY


NMC202H Introduction to Coptic Studies

Overview of the history of the Copts from political, religious, social and economic perspectives. and documentary sources will illustrate these different aspects of Coptic Civilization. The focus on Coptic Monasticism will underline the role of monasteries as conservers of the Coptic Orthodox Church tradition.
R. Boutros

*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year

 

NMC241H1 Anthropology of the Middle East

This course offers an introduction to the contemporary Middle East from an anthropological perspective. Topics will include gender, kinship, religion, modernity, popular culture, and the study of everyday life.
Exclusion: RLG250H, RLG358H
A. Mittermaier

*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year

 

NMC 270H History of Syriac Christianity

A discussion of1 the birth of Christianity in Syria and Mesopotamia and the rise of the Monophysite and Nestorian Churches in the Near East. The life of these churches under the Byzantines in Syria, the Sassanians in Mesopotamia and Persia, the Arabs, the Mongols, and finally the Ottomans. The roles played by Syrian Christians in diplomacy, science (namely, translations), missions, and relations with other churches. (Offered in alternate years)
Recommended Preparation: NMC 101Y
A. Harrak



NMC 273Y1 Early Islamic History: The Prophet and the Caliphates

This course surveys the history of the formative period of Islamic civilization in the Middle East, providing a framework for further study. After examining the mission of the Prophet Muhammad in its seventh century historical context, attention will turn to the expansion of Islam in the core Islamic lands. The religious, political, social and economic issues which arose upon the Prophet's death and as a result of the conquests, as well as the efforts of the first four (Rashidun) caliphs and the Umayyad caliphs of Damascus to resolve them will be examined. The tensions of this early period, which culminated in the Abbasid revolution, will be studied, as will the efforts of the early Abbasids to reconstitute the unity of the Muslim community. The evolution of the military, the decline in agriculture and other economic issues, social, political and religious developments in the 9th and early 10th centuries, which resulted in the transformation of the religious, political and institutional structure of the Abbasid caliphate, will then be considered. Following discussion of the rise of Shi'i and bedouin regimes (Fatimids, Qaramita, Hamdanids) in the 10th century, the new institutional patterns which emerged and dominated the central Islamic lands from the 10th to the 13th centuries will be examined in relation to the Buyids, Saljuqs and the Ayyubids. The survey will conclude with a discussion of the external pressures posed by the Crusades and the Mongol invasions, and the Muslim response under Zangi, Nur al-Din and Salah al-Din, the Ayyubids, and the early Mamluks.
Evaluation: The final grade is based on one map quiz (5%), one in-class term test (25%), two fixed topic essays (15% each), participation (5%) and a Faculty Final examination (35%)
Texts: Kennedy, Hugh, The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates
Course Readings available through the U of T Bookstore
L. Northrup

NMC 274Y1 The Steppe Frontier in Islamic History: Tribes, Horsemen and World Conquerors (formerly NMC274H1)

This course will unfold around the eastern and northern frontiers of the Islamic world from Central Asia in the east to the Black and Caspian Sea steppes in the north and from these frontiers its focus will move into the lands of the Middle East.
For centuries Turks, originally nomads in the Eurasian steppes, played crucial and varied roles in the lands of the Middle East—as slave-soldiers, raiders, migrants, conquerors, and state-builders. In connection with the latter, one need only to mention some of the many states founded by them: the Ghaznavid State, the Seljuk and Mamluk Sultanates, the Ottoman Empire, Safavid Iran. The remarkable career of the Turks and other nomads (notably the Mongols) in Islamdom will be traced; the process of their Islamization and their relationship with the cultures of the Middle East will be presented and analyzed. Topics to be covered include pastoral nomadism, steppe warfare, clan, tribal and state structures, ethnicity, sedentarization, and the roles of physical geography and ecology. The course will also provide a basis for understanding many issues in present-day countries where Turks and Mongols played decisive historical roles—such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Syria, Egypt, Turkey and in the Caucasus.
Exclusion: NMC274H
Evaluation: Map exercises 5%
2 book reviews 50%
2 term tests 40%
Class participation / discretionary mark 5%



NMC 278H1 Introduction to the Modern Middle East (formerly NMC278Y1Y)

A general introduction encompassing Egypt, Turkey, Iran, the Fertile Crescent and the Arabian Peninsula. After a discussion of the Ottoman world in the 19th century, the course examines the emergence of the principal nation-states of the Middle East in the wake of the 20th century's two world wars. Current issues in the region are considered within their broad historical context.
Exclusion: NMC278Y
Evaluation: Term test, book essay, Faculty Final Exam
Texts: Gelvin, James L. The Modern Middle East: A History (2005), plus other readings TBA
J. Reilly

NMC342H1 History of Egyptian Monasticism

Presents an historical overview on the origins of Egyptian monasticism based on written sources. Comparison of written sources with archaeological artifacts reveals the relation between spiritual and material aspects of monastic life. Literary sources produced for different monastic orders -- such as sermons, canons and biographies -- will be studied.
Recommended Preparation:
NMC202H, NMC367H, NMC368H
R. Boutros

*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year

 

NMC 343H1 History of Ancient Egypt I: Predynastic Period to Middle Kingdom (formerly NMC371Y)

This course is intended to introduce the student to the political history, culture, and religion of ancient Egypt from the predynastic period through the Middle Kingdom, based on the linguistic and archaeological evidence. The lectures (illustrated with slides) will take into account the most recent discoveries.
Evaluation: TBA
Texts: Baines, J. and Malek, J., Atlas of Ancient Egypt (1980)
James, T. G. H., Pharaoh's People (1984)
Redford, D. B., Pharaonic King-lists, Annals and Day-books (1986)
Shaw, Ian (ed.), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt
Smith, W. S. and Simpson, W. K., The Art & Architecture of Ancient Egypt (1981)
Trigger, B. G. & others, Ancient Egypt: A Social History (1983)
Exclusion: NMC101Y may not be taken in the same year; NMC371Y
Recommended Preparation: NMC 101Y




NMC 344H1 History of Ancient Egypt II: Second Intermediate Period to Greco-Roman Period (formerly NMC371Y)

This course is intended to introduce the student to the political history, culture, and religion of ancient Egypt from the Second Intermediate Period through the Middle Greco-Roman Period, based on the linguistic and archaeological evidence. The lectures (illustrated with slides) will take into account the most recent discoveries.
Evaluation: TBA
Texts: Baines, J. and Malek, J., Atlas of Ancient Egypt (1980)
James, T. G. H., Pharaoh's People (1984)
Redford, D. B., Pharaonic King-lists, Annals and Day-books (1986)
Shaw, Ian (ed.), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt
Smith, W. S. and Simpson, W. K., The Art & Architecture of Ancient Egypt (1981)
Trigger, B. G. & others, Ancient Egypt: A Social History (1983)
Exclusion: NMC101Y may not be taken in the same year; NMC371Y
Recommended Preparation: NMC 101Y




NMC 346H1 Ancient Mesopotamia I: Sumerians and Akkadians (formerly NMC372Y)

From ca. 3000 to 1600 BCE the Asiatic Near East was the stage upon which parts were played by a variety of peoples and because of their great achievements, this area has often been called the "Cradle of Civilization." This course provides a broad perspective of the major events and developments, as well as a more intensive examination of specific topics: political ideology, religion, literature,  and law. Such matters as the city-states of the early Sumerians, the rise of Semitic nation-states, and the famous law collection of Hammurapi of Babylon will be examined making use of both textual and archaeological evidence. The reading of original sources in translation is stressed. (Offered in alternate years)
Evaluation: TBA
Texts: Kuhrt, A., The Ancient Near East 2 vols. (1995) [only volume 1 will be used in this course]
Recommended Reading:
Pritchard, J.B., The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures, 2 vols. (1965, 1976)
Postgate, J.N., Early Mesopotamia: Society and Economy at the Dawn of History (1992)
Roaf, M., Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East (1990)
Van De Mieroop, M., A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000-323 BC (2004)
Prerequisite: NMC 101Y
Exclusion: NMC101Y may not be taken in the same year; NMC 372Y



NMC 347H1 Ancient Mesopotamia II: Assyrians and Babylonians (formerly NMC372Y)

This course examines the political and cultural history of the peoples of ancient Southwestern Asia from ca. 1600 BCE to the conquest of Babylon by the Alexander the Great in 331 BCE. The rise of great states, the formation of the Assyrian empire, and the scholarly achievements of the Assyrians and Babylonians will be among the topics examined.  Both textual and archaeological evidence are considered and the reading of original sources in translation is stressed.  (Offered in alternate years)
Evaluation: TBA
Texts:
Kuhrt, A., The Ancient Near East 2 vols. (1995)
Recommended Reading:
Pritchard, J.B., The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures, 2 vols.  (1965, 1976)
Roaf, M., Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East (1990)
Van De Mieroop, M., A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000-323 BC (2004)
Prerequisite:  NMC 101Y
Recommended Preparation: NMC 346H
Exclusion: NMC101Y may not be taken in the same year; NMC372Y



NMC 348Y1 Medieval Iran and Central Asia (formerly NMC375Y; NMC348H and NMC349H)

The history and cultural achievements of the ancient Persian empires before the Arab invasions and the advent of Islam. After a survey of the political and cultural history of greater Iran under the Achaemenids and their successor states, the course will focus on the period of Sasanian rule in the Near East from the 3rd–7th centuries CE. Ancient Persian concepts of kingship and social organization will be examined in the context of Zoroastrian religious beliefs and legal practices, and their influence on the subsequent formation of Islamic civilization will be traced. Special attention will be devoted to the cultural interaction of Iranians with other ethnic and religious groups in the Near East and Central Asia. Second term will deal with the history of Iran from the Arab conquests of the 7th–8th centuries, through the period of the gradual Islamization of Iran, to early modern times. The course examines the role of native Persian dynasties such as the Samanids and Buyids in the creation of a Perso-Islamic cultural synthesis. It surveys the history of greater Iran during the periods of Turkic and Turko-Mongolian rule under the Ghaznavids, Seljuqs, Ilkhanids and their successor states, including the Turkmen dynasties and the Timurids. Special attention will be devoted to the Safavids, whose rise in the 16th century represented a watershed event in the political and religious history of Iran.
Evaluation: TBA
Texts: Josef Wiesehöfer, Ancient Persia from 550 BC to 650 AD.; Richard N. Frye, The Heritage of Persia. Costa Mesa; Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices; Ahmad Tafazzoli, Sasanian Society.
Recommended Preparation: NMC 101Y
Exclusion: NMC375Y, NMC348H, NMC349H
M. Subtelny

*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year


NMC355H1 Ottoman Empire in the Age of Reform, 1808-1918

This course seeks to examine the notions of 'reform of  the state' and 'reform of the individual' between Sultan Mahmud II's accession and the defeat of the Ottoman empire in World War I. Focusing on Istanbul and its political relations with the Arab provinces, we will relate economic, social & intellectual transformations to state policies, Mediterranean capitalism and the rise of sectarianism and nationalism in the Middle East.
Recommended Preparation:
NMC276/278/353/377/378
J. Hanssen

*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year


NMC 370Y1 Ancient Israel

Against the background of the neighbouring civilizations, the course will examine Israel's view of her origins, the early settlement in Canaan, the united monarchy, the two kingdoms, their downfall and exile, and the restoration of the Jerusalem religious community in the Persian Empire. Socio-economic, cultural, and religious structures and accomplishments will be discussed at convenient points of this chronological framework. (Offered in alternate years)
Evaluation: Based on class participation, two essays and two tests. There is no Faculty Final examination.
Texts: The Bible, NRSV preferred
Miller, J. Maxwell and Hayes, John H., A History of Ancient Israel and Judah (1986)
Recommended Reading: Mazar, A., Archaeology of the Land of the Bible (1990)
Exclusion: NMC101Y may not be taken in the same year
Recommended Preparation: NMC 101Y
R. Holmstedt

*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year

NMC 373H1 Modern Iran (formerly NMC373Y)

Situated within a world historical context, this course offers a concise history of modern Iran from the establishment of the Safavid Empire in 1501 to the Islamic Revolution of 1979. While focusing on institutional and political reforms and revolutions, it also explains the making of modern Iranian political, literary, and visual cultures.
Recommended preparation:  NMC278H
M. Tavakoli-Targhi

*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year

NMC 374H1 History of Islamic Egypt to the Ottoman Conquest (1517) (formerly NMC374Y)

A survey of the history of Egypt and its role in the formation of Islamic civilization from the period just preceding the Arab conquest to the defeat of the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and Syria at the hands of the Ottomans in 1517. Discussion of recent scholarly work on the conquest period, and Egypt's incorporation as a province of the early Islamic empire of the Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates, will be followed by study of Egypt's gradual emergence from Tulunid times on as a political, commercial and cultural centre which rivaled and then eventually surpassed Baghdad in brilliance. The history of Egypt and Syria under the rule of the Arab, Isma'ili Fatimid Caliphs, Fatimid relations with the Abbasid caliphs and the Seljuk dynasty in Iraq as well as religious, institutional, and cultural aspects of Fatimid rule, will be treated in some detail as will Egypt's experience with the Sunni Kurdish Ayyubid and Turkish and Circassian Mamluk regimes. Among the issues treated thematically will be conversion, Islamization, Arabization, and intercommunal relations; ethnic relations; the economy and the financial administration; the role of the mamluk (military slave) institution; the impact of the Crusades and Mongol invasions; and the emergence of Cairo as the centre of the later mediaeval Islamic world. (Offered in alternate years)
Evaluation: One class presentation (25%), two term tests (20%, 25%), a moderate length research paper (25%) and class participation (5%)
Texts: To be assigned/Course Readings
Prerequisite: NMC 273Y
Exclusion: NMC 374Y
L. Northrup


NMC 376H1 History of Islamic Spain and North Africa (640-1492)

A survey of the history of Islamic Spain (al-Andalus) and North Africa (as related to al-Andalus) intended for students in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations who have little previous knowledge of Islamic Spain, but also of interest to students of history, mediaeval studies and of Spanish culture and civilization. Following a brief discussion of the rise of Islam, Islamic expansion in North Africa will be examined. Conditions in pre-Islamic, Visigothic Spain as the prelude to the Islamic conquest will then be examined. The internal political, economic and social history of Islamic Spain will be broadly traced first as a province of the Umayyad caliphate of Damascus, then as the independent Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba, later during the period of political fragmentation under the 'Party Kings', and subsequently under the domination of the North African dynasties (Almoravids and Almohads), to the moment of its eclipse with the demise of the Nasrids of Granada. Islamic civilization in Spain will be considered as a variant of the model of Islamic civilization in the core Islamic lands. (Offered in alternate years)
Evaluation: The final grade is based on a map quiz (5%), an in-class mid-term test (25%), an in-class final test (25%), a research paper (40%) and class participation (5%)
Texts: Course Readings available through the U of T Bookstore
Another text to be assigned
Prerequisite: NMC 273Y
L. Northrup

*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year

NMC 377Y1 The Ottoman Empire to 1800

A survey of the Ottoman Empire from its late 13th/early 14th century origins as a border principality through the classical age of Mehmed the Conqueror and Suleyman the Magnificent when as a mature Islamic Empire it ruled lands in Europe, Asia, and Africa, to the internal and external challenges faced by the empire during the 17th and 18th centuries when it was forced to transform or decline. The course ends with the Treaty of Kuchuk Kajnardja (1774) and its aftermath. Attention will also be paid to the immediate predecessors of the Ottomans, the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate, the Mongols, and to the principalities known as beyliks, which came after the fall of the Seljuks and before the rise of the Ottomans. Coverage includes topics in Ottoman institutions, economy, society, and culture.
Prerequisite: NMC274H1/NMC274Y1/NMC273Y1
Exclusion: NMC353H1/377H1
Evaluation: Two term tests (25% each), two papers (20% each), map exercise (5%), class participation/discretionary mark (5%)
V. Ostapchuk

*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year



NMC 378H1 Themes in Modern Arab History (formerly NMC 378Y)

A thematic treatment of the history of the Arabic-speaking lands from around 1700 onward, focusing on the Ottoman and colonial periods up to ca. 1950. Lectures and readings highlight important social, economic and intellectual developments.
Evaluation: Midterm, book essay, Faculty Final Examination
Texts:
Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples, 2nd ed.
Prerequisite:
NMC278H
Exclusion:
NMC378Y
J. Reilly



NMC 471H1 Topics in Early & Medieval Islamic History

A seminar organized around readings on a topic selected by the instructor. Possible topics might include authoirty and power in medieval Islamic society in the Middle East, slavery, women, taxation, landholding, iqta' and payment of the military, waqf, etc. (Offered in alternate years.)
Prerequisite: NMC273Y
L. Northrup

*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year

NMC 472H1 Theory & Method in Middle Eastern Studies

This course examines current theoretical and methodological trends in the study of the Near and Middle East. As a seminar course, it consists of presentations, discussions, lectures, guest speakers, and documentaries. Although no previous knowledge of methodology is required, the course is designed to be challenging for both beginners and students who have already launched their thesis research. The course examines the various “shifts” and “turns” (qualitative, linguistic, discursive, interpretive, etc.) in theory and methodology in the last quarter of the twentieth century, and the ways in which they are reshaping Middle Eastern studies. Orientalist and Occidentalist frameworks as well as current approaches prefixed with the word “post” will be studied critically. Special attention will be paid to the politics, culture, political economy, gender, and ethics of various research practices.
Students will write a research or thesis proposal on a topic of their choice. The goal is to learn (1) how tonavigate in today’s uncertain methodological and theoretical environments, (2) to acquire or enhance the skill of writing and defending a proposal for a thesis or other research projects, and (3) to cope with the challenges of supervised research, organizing, financing, and deadlines.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
M. Tavakoli-Targhi

 

NMC473H1 Intellectuals of the Modern Arab World (formerly NMC385Y/NMC354H/NMC355H)

This course is designed to critically re-examine both the role of intellectuals in the modern Arab world and the political events that shaped their thinking. Through readings of selections of their works (in Arabic and/or in translation) the course introduces some leading thinkers of the Arab and Muslim revivals of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Literary circles and social networks of intellectuals will be examined to shed light on the constitution and socialization of different groups of intellectuals in the late Ottoman, and colonial periods. Topics will include secularism, Islamic revival, liberalism, nationalism, gender, and cosmopolitanism. Seminar discussions will focus on intellectuals as prisms through which political events and social structures of the modern Middle East are analyzed. Written assignments will be based on interpretations of Arabic texts (English translation optional): autobiographies, novels, essays, newspaper articles, speeches, poems or lyrics.
Expected Preparation: Edward Said [1979], Orientalism (London: Vintage, 1994). 
Required Readings:
Graduates and Undergraduates:
2. Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual, (London: Vintage, 1994).
3. Albert Hourani [1962], Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, (Cambridge: CUP, 1983).
4. Abu-Rabi`, Ibrahim, Contemporary Arab Thought; Studies in Post-1967 Arab Intellectual History (London: Pluto, 2003).
 Graduates:
5. Stephen Sheehi, Foundations of Modern Arab Identity (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2004).
Recommended preparation: NMC 276Y/278H/278Y/353H/377H/377Y/378H/378
Exclusion: NMC385Y/NMC354H/NMC355H
J. Hanssen

NMC475H1 Orientalism & Occidentalism

This course probes the contemporaneous formation of modern Oriental Studies in Europe and the emergence of discourses on Europe (Ifranj/Farang) in the Middle East from the eighteenth century to the present. Special emphasis will be devoted to encounters between scholars in Western Europe, Iran, India and the Ottoman Empire. This seminar-style course explains that Orientals gazed and returned the gaze, and in the process of "cultural looking," they, like their Occidental counterparts, exoticized and eroticized the Farangi-Other. In the interplay of looks between Orientals and Occidentals, there was no steady position of spectatorship, no objective observer, and no "aperspectival" position."
Evaluation: Weekly summaries/analyses and critiques (25%); group presentations (25%); proposal and bibliography (10%); participation in university-wide/public lectures (10%); research paper and conference presentation (30%).
Texts: To be provided by instructor.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
M. Tavakoli-Targhi

*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year

NMC 478H1 Readings in the Modern History of Arab Societies (formerly NMC478Y)

A seminar built around thematic readings of social and economic history of the modern Arab world. Offered every other year.
Exclusion: NMC478Y
Prerequisite: NMC378Y/378H or permission of instructor
J. Reilly



NMC 479H1 Histories of Nationalism in the Arab World (formerly NMC479Y)

A seminar that critically considers scholarly treatments of nationalism in the Arabic-speaking lands. (Offered in alternate years)
Prerequisite: 378H/378Y or permission of instructor.
Texts: Israel Gershoni and James Jankowski, eds., Rethinking Nationalism in the Arab Middle East
Exclusion: NMC479Y
J. Reilly


*not offered in the 2012-2013 academic year